n South African Journal of Education - Factors influencing the choice of English as language of learning and teaching (LoLT)- a South African perspective

Volume 22, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0256-0100
  • E-ISSN: 2076-3433



In accordance with the South African Constitution and the South African Schools Act, the Department of Education's Language-in-Education policy aims to promote multilingualism and the development of the official languages and to pursue the language policy most supportive of general conceptual growth amongst learners. The majority of South Africans prefer English and not their home language as language of learning and teaching (LoLT) after the first four years of schooling. Why? In an attempt to address the issue of choice of LoLT, in this article I report, against the background of a literature overview, on an empirical investigation on the perceptions of a group of educators and student educators, on the importance of languages in politics, education, science and technology, trade and industry, and cultural activities, as well as on educational matters pertaining to the LoLT. I explore the problematic sociolinguistic issues concerning the choice of English over home language as the LoLT.

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